Arkansas Politics

Attorneys for the state of Arkansas want a court to cancel subpoenas issued in the battle over a gay-rights ordinance in Fayetteville, saying they're too broad.

The state Supreme Court struck down Fayetteville's anti-discrimination ordinance this year, saying it violates state law, but justices didn't rule on whether law is constitutional because that question wasn't addressed in the lower court.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump
NPR

Arkansas voters are relatively split on President Donald Trump’s campaign ties to the Russian government, but a majority are not ready to impeach him over the matter or call for his resignation at this time. That's according to a new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey that shows voters are keenly aware of the issue.

Q: Do you think the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election? 

41% Yes
43% No
16% Don’t Know

Arkansas voters oppose a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare immediately and wait two years to find a replacement plan.

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey of more than 500 Arkansas voters tested this effort and asked an additional question about Medicaid expansion and the Arkansas Works program.

Q: Senate Republicans have discussed a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act now and replace it two years from now with a yet-to-be-determined plan. Do you support or oppose this?

30% Support
52% Oppose
18% Don’t Know

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

In the now-reliably red state of Arkansas, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is taking a hit.

According to the latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey, the nation’s chief executive has gone from a 60%-35% job approval-disapproval rating in February to just 50-47% in July. In April, Trump had a 53%-39% approval rating.

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing?

39%  Strongly Approve
11%   Somewhat Approve
7%    Somewhat Disapprove
40%  Strongly Disapprove
3%.   No Opinion

Repeal And Then...

Jul 21, 2017

Arkansas’s U.S. Senators Boozman and Cotton say they both support repealing without immediately replacing the Affordable Care Act. That comes as support for GOP-crafted healthcare legislation tears apart at the seams. Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson suggests it may be time for a bipartisan approach.

A former Arkansas Senate president who admitted spending more than $150,000 of campaign funds on personal items has been released from federal prison.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that former Sen. Paul Bookout was released from federal prison earlier this month and will complete the remainder of his sentence at his home in Jonesboro.

Bookout pleaded guilty to one count of federal mail fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He began serving his sentence in May 2016 at a minimum-security prison in Illinois.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's campaign says it has nearly $1.2 million in the bank as the Republican ramps up his re-election bid for next year.

Hutchinson's campaign on Monday reported it raised more than $526,000 over the past three months and spent more than $37,000. Hutchinson, who was first elected in 2014, formally announced in May that he was seeking a second term but had already been raising money for a re-election bid.

So far no Democrats have announced a bid to challenge Hutchinson. Hutchinson has raised nearly $1.3 million total for his re-election bid.

KATV

A central Arkansas prosecutor has been nominated for a U.S. attorney post in the state.

The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump has nominated Cody Hiland to serve as U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas.

Hiland is currently the prosecuting attorney for the state's 20th judicial district, which includes Faulkner, Van Buren and Searcy counties. Hiland has formerly worked at the Arkansas Public Service Commission, the Arkansas Transitional Employment Board and is a former legislative liaison and aide for former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Ten 10 Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol was destroyed Wednesday less than 24 hours after it was unveiled. A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says a driver intentionally sped toward the six foot tall granite tablet at about 4:45 a.m. and was immediately apprehended by Capitol Police.

Arkansas Capitol
flickr.com

An Arkansas panel has approved a 2 percent pay raise for all of the state's top elected officials except the lieutenant governor, who has said he didn't want the bump in salary.

The Independent Citizens Commission voted 4-0 to increase the salaries for the state's constitutional officers, legislators, judges and prosecutors. The pay raise will take effect in 10 days.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin last week said he opposed the pay raise and said he would decline the additional money if approved by the panel. The panel voted to keep Griffin's salary at $42,315.

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